Links between adolescents' closeness to adoptive parents and attachment style in young adulthood

Holly A. Grant-Marsney, Harold D. Grotevant, Aline G. Sayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This study examined whether adolescents' closeness to adoptive parents (APs) predicted attachment styles in close relationships outside their family during young adulthood. In a longitudinal study of domestic infant adoptions, closeness to adoptive mother and adoptive father was assessed in 156 adolescents (M=15.7years). Approximately 9 years later (M=25.0years), closeness to parents was assessed again as well as attachment style in their close relationships. Multilevel modeling was used to predict attachment style in young adulthood from the average and discrepancy of closeness to adolescents' adoptive mothers and fathers and the change over time in closeness to APs. Less avoidant attachment style was predicted by stronger closeness to both APs during adolescence. Increased closeness to APs over time was related to less anxiety in close relationships. Higher closeness over time to either AP was related to less avoidance and anxiety in close relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-232
Number of pages12
JournalFamily relations
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 National Council on Family Relations.


  • Adolescence
  • Adoption
  • Attachment styles
  • Close relationships
  • Young adulthood


Dive into the research topics of 'Links between adolescents' closeness to adoptive parents and attachment style in young adulthood'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this